The Best Camera Phones on the Market

The Kyocera VP 210 is a monumental phone. Debuting in 1995, it looked like any other phone released in the 90s. But what makes the VP (Visual Phone) 210 so special is that it is allegedly the first camera phone invented. With a 0.11 MP camera, the VP 210 could only take up to 20 pictures before storage becomes full.

Since then, hundreds of brands have employed cameras and now almost every phone is guaranteed to have one. Today’s flagship phones, like the iPhone 12 and Galaxy S20 even have high-quality cameras resembling that of DSLRs. Even if you’re on the market for a new-to-you, or used phone, there are many makes and models that are out there can definitely do your photos justice.

With many great options, what brand has the best camera phone on the market, and which one is worth buying?

Apple iPhone 12 Pro ($999.99 +) 

Apple launched its iPhone 12 series in October 2020. Out of the four phones released, the iPhone 12 Pro stands out the most.

Among its many specs such as 5G speeds, an A14 Bionic chip, and a durable ceramic shield, the iPhone 12 Pro is praised for its pro-like camera system because of its modes and abilities.

  • Rare Triple Camera Setup
  • 12 MP, 13mm, f/2.4
  • 12 MP, 26 mm, f/1.6
  • 12 MP, 52 mm, f/2
  • Front Camera
  • 12 MP, f/2.2, TrueDepth Camera
  • Dual IOS ✓
  • Apple ProRAW Format ✓
  • LiDAR Scanner ✓

Apple’s TrueDepth Camera was actually introduced with the release of the iPhone X and took the place of a typical front camera. While the iPhone X has a 7 MP camera, the iPhone 12 Pro has a 12 MP camera for higher quality photos. TrueDepth also features 1080p video recording, Porttriad Mode, Face Detection, and Auto HDR.

iPhone 12 Pro’s Smart HDR 3  automatically filters highlights, shadows, and contours as well as captures details, balances colors, and recognizes settings in any lighting.

Comparable to a DSLR’s RAW setting, the iPhone 12 Pro camera also has a ProRAW setting. With ProRAW, Apple says you can are given an absurd amount of creative control.

One of the biggest highlights of the phone’s camera is its Night Mode. No matter the time of day, you are still able to capture vivid colors and fine details.

The iPhone 12 may not be as good as a DSLR, but for a sleek device that can fit in your back pocket, it is the next best thing.

Check this out: iPhone 12 Series Review

Apple iPhone 12 ($699 +) 

Even though the iPhone 12 does not have the exact same qualities as the iPhone 12 Pro, it still has an amazing-quality camera.

  • Rare Dual Camera Setup
  • 12 MP, 13mm, f/2.4
  • 12 MP, 26 mm, f/1.6
  • Front Camera
  • 12 MP, f/2.2, TrueDepth Camera
  • 5G ✓
  • Ceramic Shield Screen ✓
  • LiDAR Scanner X
  • Telephoto Camera X

Even though the iPhone 12 does not have a telephoto camera, which allows you to zoom in on a subject from far away, it still achieves a digital of up to 5X more. It is also capable of capturing HDR videos at 30fps, whereas the iPhone 12 Pro captures 60fps.

Despite their differences, all phones in this line provide users with a high-quality camera and an artistic lens.

Samsung Galaxy s20 Ultra 5G ($995 +) 

Another flagship phone with a camera worth talking about is the Samsung Galaxy s20 Ultra 5G.

Released in March 2020, this phone has been one of the most popular in 2020, being that it is currently sold out on Samsung.com and several third-party websites. Out of every phone released by Samsung, the Galaxy s20 Ultra 5G is said to be the most impressive.

  • Rare Cameras
  • 108 MP, 26mm, f/1.8 (primary lens)
  • 12 MP, 13mm, f/2.2 (ultra-wide-angle lens)
  • 48 MP, 103mm, f/3.5 (telephoto lens)
  • Time of Flight Depth Sensing Camera
  • Front Camera
  • 40 MP, 26mm, f/2.2
  • OIS ✓
  • Up to 100x Zoom ✓
  • 8K Video ✓
  • 5G Future Proofing ✓

Samsung claims that the Samsung Galaxy s20 Ultra 5G is “the phone that will change photography.” Its 108 MP camera, 100x Space Zoom, and 8K Video Snap delivers quality that was once unimaginable.

Just because it is one of the best does not mean that it is perfect. Even though the s20 Ultra 5G performs significantly better than the s20 and s20 Plus, it loses a few points for its poor battery life and 8K limitations.

Regardless, it is thought to be the best 5G camera phone ever released.

Google Pixel 5 ($699+)

If you are looking for a nice and straightforward, point and shoot camera phone, the Google Pixel 5, released in October 2019,  is one of your best bets.

  • Rare Dual  Camera Setup
  • 12.2 MP, 12mm, f/1.7 (wide-angle lens)
  • 16 MP, f/2.2 (ultra wide-angle)
  • Front Camera
  • 8 MP, 24mm, f/2 (wide-angle lens)
  • ToF 3D Camera ✓
  • OIS ✓
  • Good Battery Life ✓
  • No Telephoto Power X

Even though it is not as up-to-date as other flagship phones, the Goolge Pixel 5 is still a credible phone because of its Snapdragon 765G chip that causes the camera to perform lag-free. The phone’s water-resistance and wireless charging are a bonus.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro ($1,380+) 

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is not the best smartphone in the bunch, but it does stand out because of its camera setup.

  • Rare Triple Camera Setup
  • 50 MP, f/1.9 (Main Camera)
  • 12 MP, f/3.4 (Periscope Camera with 5x Optical Zoom)
  • 20 MP, f/1.8 (Ultra Wide)
  • Front Camera Setup
  • 13 MP, f/2.4 (ToF Sensor)

Even though it has limited apps due to not having access to the Google Play Store, it does have many photography modes to take pictures with, such as the moon photography mode.

All of these smartphones are advanced in their own way, especially because of their cameras. While some have amazing settings that enhance the photos they take, others take high-quality photos without any extra features.

No camera phone on the market is perfect, but there is a perfect phone for everyone. Whether you are a photographer on-the-go or a selfie enthusiast, any of these cameras are a good match.

Obviously, a broken camera phone is the worst type of camera phone to own. If you have a smartphone with a broken camera, send it to a tech repair store and get it back in pristine condition within days.

If you don’t own one already, you can buy a phone for an affordable price at a trade-in company